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How Charging More Gave Me My Life Back

If you’re a WAHM (“Work At Home Mama” for those of us who need acronym translators!), chances are you’ve been in this scenario. You start your own business or you take a job on the side. I’m talking a side hustle. You’re just a mom, working out of her house – and every dollar counts, right? Hustle. Hustle.

You’re an awesome mom, and you have MAD mom skills (and I don’t mean “angry”!). You run around the house every morning putting back 1000 tiny things that no one else will notice. The bills are paid. The shoes and coats are put away. Everyone is fed. Everyone has clean clothes (most of the time). You hold it all together so the house can keep running. You love your kids, discipline them so they grow up right, and make sure their little brains are filled with all the educational things. Do you have life insurance? Because if anything ever happened, your husband would need a million to replace you, you Wonder Woman, you!

But then there’s this mom-thing that our society does. And we’re working to change it, but it still sinks in sometimes… It whispers that you’re not worthy. *Just* a mom.

So when you work for yourself in your side hustle – whether you started your own business, you’re a network marketing diva, a hard-working contractor, a crafter turned businesswoman, mommy blogger, or whatever you find yourself doing – are you charging enough? Are YOU valuing your time?


A Little Bit of My Journey

tips for charging more, raising rates, running a business, what to charge self-employedI started this journey about 8 years ago when I quit my full time “corporate” job and decided I was going to own my own business. It was a risky move, and not well thought through, to be honest! At the time, we didn’t have kids so I sat around the house all day with our dog, designing things, printing business cards and samples, writing blog posts, doing what I thought would make it work, and not charging enough on my products for the labor I was putting in. I made some money but worked myself into a hole by being the “cheap” designer – just eager to make a buck. I focused on the wrong things. But I learned along the way (thank you, Jesus)! This went on for a few months until I had to get a part-time job to help bring in money. Cue the sad face… 🙁

But my entrepreneurial dreams weren’t broken. Our financial struggles have always been there, trust me (I’ll share more some other time), but we were extremely blessed to not have business debt weighing us down… So I tried again. And again. And I eventually stumbled on work that I loved and something that I was good at. God blessed us financially. But I was spending too much precious time on that side hustle.

Quality Over Quantity

I had basically created a high-paying JOB for myself, crushing that new mama dream of being home with my kids because I was constantly running out to get work done. And when I was with my kids I was THINKING about work, processing projects in my mind, distracted, and stressed. I was making great money, but it was slowly sucking the life out of me because I wasn’t charging enough for my time. My husband would get home from work, and I would immediately leave the house to catch some good internet and come back late. Most nights we just worked opposite shifts so one of us could be home with the kids.

It hurt. I got to the point where I didn’t want the work anymore, but it just kept coming. I would pull out of the driveway bawling my eyes out because I had little girls running after the car begging me not to leave. So I raised my rates. And I raised them. And I raised them. No one ever said no… but here’s the important thing: charging enough for my time allowed me to slow down. I dropped most of my clients but was able to stay profitable because I was charging more and gained back my time.

If you’re feeling the time/money crunch, if you know you’re working too many darn hours for your income, or if you just want to be able to focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY when it comes to your side hustle, it’s time to value yourself and your time and charge more!

Tips for Raising Your Rates & Charging the Right Amount for Your Work


✔ If you charge hourly, never do anything for less than $20/hr – by the time you take out taxes, business expenses, your time and experience, you are worth more than that! PROVE IT by working efficiently and effectively. I’m not talking to lazy people.

✔ An hour is an hour. Time it. Know yourself, how you work, and how long certain tasks will take. If a project takes you two hours and your time is worth $100 per hour, then it’s a $200 project. Don’t skimp on yourself.

✔ If you’re already going above and beyond, no one will bat an eye if you raise your prices within reason. But remember to be nice about it! Don’t double your rates overnight! Give plenty of notice and be firm about the change. Don’t apologize for it. If a customer leaves based on cost, that means the only reason they were using you was because you were cheap. That’s OK. Let them go. Some people just want deals, but you’re worth more than that.

✔ If you were thinking about starting a new product line or working on getting a new client, that’s a great time to raise your rates. Do so with confidence. If you’re selling a great product or service, the value you offer should be reflected in your pricing – you’re not cheap!

✔ If you raise your rates for current clients or ongoing services, make sure you give them plenty of notice and a reason for the change. Again, if you’ve been going the extra mile along the way, this shouldn’t be a problem.

✔ Don’t be afraid to ask for more. If you sell a custom service (this works for job interviews, too!), try to get the other person to share their budget first, and then always ask for a little more than what they offered. The worst they can do is say “no”, but if you didn’t ask, what would you have left on the table?

✔ When charging new clients more, do it with CONFIDENCE. You are worth it, mama.

You Are Worth It.

When I made the shift and cut back on a lot of my work, I had a huge change in my thinking about my self-worth, and how I would spend my time. I allow myself more creativity and can do more of the things I love because I have the time! I’m experiencing more freedom in my business than ever before. And shockingly, even after the price increases, what I DID have pushback on was ending the contracts and projects that I chose to give up.

Many of the clients that I decided to leave said things like, “Where do we find someone else who can do what you do?”  “Who can you recommend to take over?” “Let me know when you’re available again!” This, to me, was a HUGE compliment and the result of YEARS of hard work and going above and beyond for these clients. When you value your time and the work you do, your cost should reflect that, and others will respect you for it. You are worth it.

What do you think about YOUR income for the time you put in? Did you need this nudge or have you already made the jump? Leave me a comment and I’ll send some encouragement your way!